World Top 01 Beaches ~ Las Islas Cies, Galicia, Spain
From deserted white sand lapped by turquiose water to waves crashing against rugged shores, Gavin McOwan tips 10 dream destinations for every beach bum.
Mention Spanish beaches and most people instinctively think of the Mediterranean. Yet the wilder, stunning Atlantic coastline of Galicia, just north of Portugal, has far more dramatic praias ¨C with far fewer
people on them. One of the jewels of this coast is on Las Islas Cies, a 40-minute boat trip from the pretty town of Baiona. Once a pirates' haunt, Cies is now an uninhabited and pristine national park, open to
the public only in summer. Galegos come here to spend long, lazy summer days on the Praia das Rodas, a perfect crescent of soft, pale sand backed by small dunes sheltering a calm lagoon of crystal-clear sea.
Locals call this their "Caribbean beach", and the water is turquoise enough,
the sand white enough to believe the comparison ¡ until you dip your toe in the water. Then it feels more like Skegness. You can sleep in an
idyllic campsite, shaded by tall pine trees, with a view over the ocean. And, this being Spain, there's even a proper restaurant serving great seafood.